The ios giant made an estimated $3.2bn (£2.1bn) profit from iPhone sales in the second quarter of the year, according to the research firm Strategy Analytics, a marked drop from $4.6bn a year ago and less than Samsung’s estimated $5.2bn haul from both its basic models and smartphones in the same period.
While the high-priced iPhone was the engine that propelled Apple to become the world’s most valuable company, its customers are no longer bent on owning the latest model. Huge demand for the three-year-old iPhone 4, which is cheaper than the latest iPhone 5, has reduced the average selling price of the device.
Apple’s latest financial results showed that the average selling price of an iPhone has fallen to $581, down from $613 in the first quarter.The same trend has squeezed Samsung’s handset profits, which are down from an estimated $5.6bn in the second quarter of 2012, but the strong performance of its flagship Galaxy S4 has, at least for now, put an end to Apple’s four-year reign as the world’s most profitable phone-maker.
“With strong volumes, high wholesale prices and tight cost controls, Samsung has finally succeeded in becoming the handset industry’s largest and most profitable vendor,” said Neil Mawston at Strategy Analytics.
Apple’s global smartphone market share has fallen from 17% to 14%, its lowest level for three years, while Samsung’s edged up to 33%, Strategy Analytics’ research shows. Samsung sold 76m smartphones in the quarter to June, more than twice Apple’s 31m iPhones, and up from 49m in the same period a year ago.
LG, ZTE and Huawei have all roughly doubled their worldwide shipments by unit.